Dummerston woman gets home confinement in eBay fraud scheme
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | January 24,2013
BURLINGTON — A 33-year-old Dummerston woman was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation after she pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, involving stealing jewelry from her employer and reselling it on the Internet auction site eBay.
Andrea Carrasquillo was ordered to serve four months of home confinement, followed by four months during which she will be subject to a curfew, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Doherty.
U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III also ordered Carrasquillo to pay her victims $19,566 in restitution for the jewelry she stole.
According to court records, Carrasquillo was an employee of Sajen Jewelry in Putney from August 1999 until March 2010, when she was laid off. She was rehired in November 2010, and it was at that time that she began taking jewelry from Sajen and selling it on her private account on eBay.
The pieces were often advertised as being “new with tags,” according to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office, and some of Sajen Jewelry’s regular online customers ultimately alerted the company to the website and scheme.
From November 2010 to March 2011, Carrasquillo sold 337 pieces of Sajen Jewelry over eBay at a profit to herself of $17,198. Officers from the Windham County Sheriff’s Department, executing a search warrant at her home in Dummerston found more than 900 pieces of Sajen jewelry and evidence of an active eBay business, according to the release.
Doherty said that Carrasquillo faced up to 20 years in prison, but under federal sentencing guidelines, because of her lack of criminal history, her acceptance of responsibility and her family commitments, was eligible for home confinement and curfew. Sessions noted that the range of sentence was eight to 14 months in prison.
Doherty said that Carrasquillo, during her sentencing, said that family and financial circumstances led her to commit the wire fraud.
Sessions ordered a higher amount for restitution to represent the replacement value of the jewelry she stole and resold on eBay, taking into consideration increased prices for materials such as silver.
James Valente of the Brattleboro law firm of Costello Valente & Gentry, represented Carrasquillo, but couldn’t be reached for comment.